Sunday, August 13, 2006


One of my aims is to reach people within the church who desperately want to see their loved ones saved, but don't feel equipped to share their faith effectively. Once a year, there is a gathering of 50,000 people with exactly those qualifications. Greg Laurie puts on his annual Harvest Crusade. It is basically a huge seeker friendly rock concert/alter call that ends up seeing a lot of people walk down the aisle to "accept Jesus". I see two big problems with this. Don't get me wrong, I completely support their intentions, but I think it can use a little help.

First, sometimes hearing a modern gospel message, people are not really clear what their "decision" actually is. Many people walk down to earnestly give this whole Jesus thing a try. I, myself, walked down an aisle many years ago, and would have been hard pressed to explain fully to someone else what I had actually done. That doesn't mean that people should be preached to, and asked to come forward, but it really helps if there is someone who can, one on one, explain and answer any questions that the person might have. Harvest had many people volunteering to do just this. I think it is important to make sure these people, who have the burning desire to see people saved, have a clear way of presenting the biblical gospel.

Second, I think many of the people here use an annual event like this to "do their evangelism". If you don't know exactly what to say to someone, then it can be a nice substitute to invite them to a big Christian rock concert, and let the preacher do the heavy lifting. The problem with this is that all the other people they come into contact with during the year don't get a chance to hear the gospel. Also, as a previous attender of the Harvest myself, I have invited many a non-believer to this event. I offered to drive and buy dinner. They weren't fooled. No matter how good the music, or how "cool" we Christians dressed, basically it was a ruse to trick them into going to a church service. Most people are too smart to fall for that type of deception. I talked up the music, and they didn't care, as they already had plenty of bands that they were already into. And, the more honest I was about the church part, the less they wanted to go.

With all the effort expended to try to get them to come to an event designed to evangelize, I found it was much easier, and more honest, to just present the gospel myself. I think this is supported by the fact that as I looked around at the stadium filled with about 50,000 people, I saw everyone raising their hands and praising the Lord and singing. Great. But, where were all the non-believers. I stood outside and passed out over 200 CDs and DVDs of Hell's Best Kept Secret to the people in line. I asked every single person, "Are you a Christian" and every single one said, "I sure am." Um, where were the people that they were supposed to bring to hear the message? My thought is that by getting these people, who already have the heart to save the lost, equipped with a solid, non offensive way of presenting the gospel, more people will be reached all year long.

There were people there protesting Greg Laurie. Actually they seemed to be protesting every Christian name I had ever heard. But, I was not there for that purpose. We are all brothers, and we are all doing our part. I just pray that during the rest of the year, each of us get out and share our faith to the people closest to us, and don't put the job of evangelism off for others to do for us. We can pray for the Lord to send out workers into the harvest, but unless we get out and go ourselves, our prayers are in vain.

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